October 28, 2018 •Adoption blog
I’ve decided to stop overthinking things and just write. So there may be typos and the punctuation could be better but here it is. I am going to try and blog a little more often but with less pressure...
Today a friend sent me a picture of the first time she met cub. We worked out he must have been 15 months old and he looked so tiny.
Our children are weeks apart and so we have lots of photos of them when they were little and getting to know each other / fighting over the same toy or ganging up on us causing mayhem!
I just couldn’t believe whilst looking at the photo tonight, that cub was ever that small. For me when started the adoption process I thought I had come to terms with not having a biological baby (or was I just so desperate to have a family and put IVF behind me that I just swallowed my feelings deeper than I thought?).
When we found out about Cub I couldn’t believe we were going to have a child who was under a year and a half. I was being realistic and imagining a 3-year-old as our child (as that’s what we were told was the youngest we could expect to parent at the time).
I was so excited to experience the baby days, experience a lot of the firsts. I couldn’t wait to buy a cot (we had bought bunk beds as we were approved for 2 children up to the age of 5. So being able to have a cot was just amazing). I had all that excitement I thought you would have with a birth child, although my heart was very guarded, because this could all be whipped out from under me in a second.
When we first met Cub I do remember him being young and not quite believing we would have essentially a baby.
We have lots of photos and videos (actually thousands!) and I think at the time you have so much going on, such as learning to parent, dealing with sleep exhaustion and all the other emotions new parents find!!
I think as an adoptive parent, I don’t know about you (if you’ve adopted) but I want(ed) everything to be perfect. To try and give him everything because of the start he had. I over think every decision. I worry that something I do will impact on him negatively, do we talk about adoption enough? Do we talk about it too much? How do we approach certain subjects etc. Not to mention actually trying to survive life with a baby/toddler.
I haven’t made it a secret, I struggled with the toddler years. I had childminded for a few years before adopting so maybe a lot of the excitement around having a baby in the house had worn off. I was used to changing nappies and feeding a baby. It wasn’t as exciting as I feel it should have been. Or was I just overwhelmed? Maybe this is just reality?
Babies and toddlers are hard work. Actually, they can be absolute arseholes. Now I don’t want you to question for a minute the love I have for my son but let’s be honest with ourselves here. How many of you really love that game where they throw everything you’ve just cooked off their tray? Where they repeatedly throw things in the dog's water bowl and look at you as if to say “screw you Mum I WILL throw things in here and you can do bugger all about it” (why I didn’t just move the sodding water bowl I will never know!). Those days when they don’t know what they want but you’re totally 100% supposed to know but haven’t got a flipping clue! There is so much learning to being a parent.
Anyway, I’m trying to paint a picture here that life and bonding and dealing with all these raw emotions that parenting brings with it is flipping hard. Be KIND to yourself.
We take it day by day, sometimes wishing it was 6pm and bath time so we can sit down and have a break, knowing full well you’ll be up several times in the night for several hours. (This was something I had totally underestimated!!)
I just don’t think I appreciated how young and small he was and now I look back on pictures and just wish I could go back and soak up all the things he no longer does. The sound he made when he ate, the ‘baby cuddles’ (which we still do, but is becoming increasingly difficult) watching him explore the way babies do.
I keep reminding myself to soak up little moments in our day and remember that I may think he is grown up now, but in a years time I will look back and think how little he looks.
I think the point I’m trying to make is that for an adoptive parent who tried so very hard to grow a baby, I didn’t appreciate how small my baby was when he arrived because he wasn’t a new born so therefore didn’t seem so small.
I’m going to make sure I try and bank as many memories as I can and appreciate Cub for the age he is. He is a wonderful, funny, sensitive little boy who I would be lost without. I will stop dreaming too much about the future and live in the now.